A victory for the little guys this week, as Hook & The Twin and My Tiger My Timing stomp all over the far more seasoned competition...
Single Of The Week!
Hook And The Twin - 'Race For The Bone' (Feraltone)
I only heard of Hook & Twin because I was pulling this singles column together and 'Race For The Bone' is out this week. But far more than anything else here, I keep going back, because it becomes more startling and strange with every listen. It kicks off with what appear to be eastern strings, but they're quickly revealed as a distorted, jagged guitar riff, playing out over mesmerising jabs of noise. Though it seems repetitive, it's increasingly odd, like one of those TV tricks from the time before sophisticated special effects, where the camera would spin around and around to indicate a character falling into some sort of madness. And just as it starts to take hold, they strip it down to barest basics, guitar and drums, as if they've suddenly decided to bring up the house lights and go home. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to listen to it 17 more times.
My Tiger My Timing - 'This Is Not The Fire' (Silver Machine Music)
This was almost single of the week, until Hook & Twin trounced it at the last minute, but both tracks are cut from a similarly hypnotic cloth. Like H&T, My Tiger My Timing slowly mess with expectations, tinkering with the trappings of 21st century post-punk and altering bits of their sound here and there with such a deft hand that it's barely noticeable. But it makes all the difference.
Lady Sovereign - 'So Human' (Midget Records)
Sampling rarely comes as shameless as this, and songs about how terrible fame and success are always grate, but in spite of such massive obstacles, this is the most likeable song Sov has done since 'Ch-Ching'. Maybe it's because that awkward middle ground between how she started and what the likes of 'Hoodie' tried to make her feels like it's over and done with.
Art Brut - 'Alcoholics Unanimous' (Cooking Vinyl)
Art Brut produced by Frank Black should really rip some sort of metaphysical hole in the fabric of indie music, but instead, it ends up producing a very Art Brut song about the pitfalls of getting too pissed. I imagine it works better with a hangover, or else in the sort of state that gets you there.
Franz Ferdinand - 'No You Girls' (Domino)
'No You Girls' is maddening, because it's the sound of deflated swagger evolving into smugness. It's a testament to Franz's lacklustre third album that it sounds overly familiar from the off, as if we've heard it 300 times before, and that's before the iPod advert. Surely becoming that kind of band was never part of the masterplan?
Frankmusik - 'Better Off As Two' (Island)
This is one of those songs that some people (probably not most DiS readers, granted) will call "good pop music" in an ever-so-slightly patronising way (as if pop music warrants a separate category of good, and it can't be lumped in with real music like Fleet Foxes). This is probably not the best song to make that point, though, because it's not as good as '3 Little Words' (which really was just a decent song, pop or otherwise), as it sounds like somebody has fed it through a machine marked 'Guaranteed Radio Smash'. It's calculated to be good, rather than magically ending up that way, and somehow it takes the shine off.